Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Life of mine...

Don't wash my first sin off without telling me where I'd gone wrong
Don't teach me my first rhyme because it could be my sorry song
Don't get me those fancy gifts until I learn the joys of choice
Don't pick me my best friend, ignoring my heart's little voice

Life of mine...
I was born as me, I'll live this life of mine

I trashed those numbers and counted the stars
I grew my hair long and cut the wisdom short
I walked out of sermons and found my own god

Life of mine...
I was born as me, I'll live this life of mine

Reminisce wisely!

The cut mud roads and the rare night train,
or the jungle trail and the mountain rain?

Travel sickness and the sun burnt hands,
or the roaring waves and the sprawling sands?

A bad hangover and a worse headache
or the midnight drive and the deep dark lake?

The moody rants and the petty tiffs,
or the one tight hug that erases all ifs?

Broken hearts and the sleepless eyes,
or the first blown kiss and the everyday highs?

Fading hairlines and the graying hair,
or the lovely long roads that got us there?

Fate is a miser hence the choices rare and few,
Memories are kinder and their king is only you.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Autorickshaws must also be from Venus.

Note: I request all women with a poor sense of humour to stop reading at the period.

Autorickshaws must be from Venus. They behave pretty much like women anyway. Listed below are a few comparisons. I am sure people more observant and imaginative than I am, will come up with more.

1) They ask too many questions; unnecessary more often than not.

2) They always demand more. Despite a meter (logic in real life)!

3) They always take a long and winding route before getting to the point.

4) They take kids to school.

5) They get in your way when you are off for something important

6) They are a menace on the road.

7) You never find one when you are desperately in need of one.

8) You mess with one on the road, a crowd gathers and gangs up against you – no matter what!

9) They are always on the lookout for richer men.

10) They always have separate rules.

11) Their sound annoys you.

12) They act pricey at night.

13) You have to settle for the dilapidated one because the good ones are taken.

14) They gossip every time two of them get together, even if the other isn’t listening.

15) It will take a lot of cajoling to convince them to go with you.

16) They are insensitive to pleas.

17) They always complain about things or the lack of it, as per the situation.

18) Men ride them. In most cases at least.

19) And yes, you can’t live with them, nor can you live without them.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Fluid City!

The city of Bangalore must be in a fluid state. Yes, yes. I have never seen a mobile lamppost either. But nothing else could explain, the phenomenon I am about to narrate.

It was way past lunch time and I was out to meet a friend. Since I had kept her waiting for long enough, I thought I’d pick a place closer to her workplace to make it up. And hence I chose Frazer Town. Now the fact that Savoury, the Mallu place that serves Arabic food, was located in the neighbourhood had nothing to do with it. I let quite a few autorickshaws pass by until the one with the apparently flawless digital meter came along.

The driver demanded only the directions and not the customary “20 rupeees extraa saar!” Agreeing, I jumped in happily. Surprisingly, he did not complain about the traffic, the roads or my smoking as we drove through all of the aforementioned. He threw a grimace at me through the rear-view mirror for the latter though. I reached my destination in 20 minutes. I paid him Rs. 42. Now that would make it a 6-km-ride considering the exorbitant Rs.7 per kilometer rates in the city. I paid him Rs. 45. A tip for honesty.

I finished a quick lunch, made faster by my veggie friend who clearly did not enjoy my gorging on the mutton liver. The first autorickshaw that greeted me outside the restaurant had a brand new digital meter neatly perched atop the iron bar behind the driver’s seat. Wow, I exclaimed! Without even managing a proper good bye, I hopped into the auto. I took the same road back, eliminating a few possible short cuts I had in mind. 42 was indeed a reasonable amount of money. Ignoring the generally reliable digital meter, I dedicated my full concentration to enjoying the beautiful things on the road – mainly feminine.

There was nothing general or nothing reliable about the digital meter when I reached my office. Rs. 63.50!!! That was a little over 9 kilometers. Now, how do you explain that? If the places and the roads were in a static, solid state, where did these three kilometers come from? I did not see a large chunk of land or a wriggling piece of road fall from the sky (If it had fallen while I was eating, I would have heard the thud). Did it emerge from beneath? There was no one from the media in sight. So, let us eliminate that possibility as well. Nor do I remember him taking a large deviation across the Great Wall of China. Then how? The only possibility is the one I mentioned in the first paragraph. About the city being in a fluid state; where Langford road and Frazer town are located on a fluid and flexible surface that keeps expanding and at times contracting, leading to the fluctuation of distances between two points. Or, by wild stretch of imagination, it could be that the meter in the second autorickshaw was rigged. Now that would be a ridiculous assumption, wouldn’t it be?

Monday, November 02, 2009

Forever United

I recently got myself a Manchester United logo tattooed on my arm. The torture lasted 4 and a half hours (relatively quick according to the artist). And by the time it was done, I was a happy man. Now, I don’t expect many people to share my joy, or even understand it. Precisely the reason why I got it in a not-so-visible area. I am tired of explaining to non-believers what football and especially United mean to me. This is probably the last time.

I fell in love with Manchester United the day I saw them take on the table toppers Aston Villa in the winter of 1998. I was a novice among premiership watchers that day. I was unaware of the Busby Babes. I did not know that this was one of the most famous teams in the world. I did not know that Fergie was a Scot. My choice was based on instinct. One to support the underdogs. And the reds did not disappoint me one bit. The remainder of the season saw Manchester United fight their way up, in their now-famous post-christmas surge, and won an unprecedented treble.

More than a decade has gone by since that cold and fateful winter afternoon. Since my journey with Manchester United began. My faith in them has not moved an inch – very much in tune with one of the club songs that go, “We shall not be moved.” They have won many a wonderful game. And they have lost many a painful one. But through tears of joy and sorrow, I swore by the Ferguson’s red army.

And today, my friends ask me why, of all things, I got myself the tattoo of a football club. One look at the climbing debt and you will know that Manchester United’s future is not the brightest. Chances are, in a few years from now, they will have to sell their best assets to address their mammoth debts. And one day, the worst nightmare of every United fan will come true, and Ferguson will step down from the helm. And United may turn into a club that plays boring football. “What then?” ask my mates. And I have no answer. It could be my way of showing gratitude to them for giving me something to believe in year after year. It could be my way of appreciating the most beautiful football they showcased time and again. It could be my way of saying ‘thank you’ for giving a rebel his cause. At least for while.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The day he could not take it anymore - 2

He could roll three at a time now. He considered it quite an evolution from the confused little boy from a couple of years back. He even took one to the toilet. He had to rather. He was fully stocked throughout the year. There was never a low day with him around, joked his buddies. His circle of friends was now much wider than the tiny speck from the past.

Three pairs of bloodshot eyes looked on as he expertly worked his way through the joints. Three emptied cigarettes, neatly tucked between his fingers. With smooth swift movements, resembling that of a giant mechanical crane, he filled them up. He held them up after filling them to the brim, sprinkled the ‘magic dust’ as they called it, and extended his arms. Eager hands grabbed them from him. His eyes sparkled to match the flame as it moved from one hand to the other. A tired smile escaped his lips.

A sharp pain below his ribs awoke him after… Well, timekeeping was definitely not among the luxuries of a tripper. He leaned against the wall, and pushed himself forward. His feet were rooted to the ground. He was like one of those wax toys, with only his upper body oscillating. He had a vague idea of where the bathroom was. He staggered towards it.

He was next to the bathroom door when he woke up the second time. He remembered slipping on something. Somebody’s vomit, he thought. “Fuckin’ amateurs; just can’t handle good stuff,” he muttered to himself. He switched the lights on.

The scene that awaited him froze him beyond mere horror. Three headless bodies lay motionless on the floor. Fresh blood flowed out of their open necks. Three heads, each with excruciating agony in their lifeless eyes, looked back at him from the three corners of the room. In front of him, sprawled in red, was his worst nightmare.

(to be continue...)

Friday, October 16, 2009

The day he could not take it anymore - 1

He looked at the saliva dampened roll of paper in his hand once again. Apprehension. Curiosity. Temptation. He eyes moved hesitantly around the dimly lit room. Several pairs of expectant and dazed eyes stared back at him. The smell of the smoke that emanated from the cigarette made him uneasy. Well, all things good came with an in-built put off clause, didn’t they? He recalled his first glass of rum, Old Port. A tired smile escaped his lips. Shedding his inhibitions, he put the joint to his lips, and as advised, took a deep drag. Lightning did not strike him dead. Tigers did not rip off his head. Silence. Peace. Period. The vicious circle.

Five hours had passed by the time he opened his eyes. He was alone. He felt blissfully happy. Joy echoed from the loneliness that engulfed him. He slowly got up. There was something strange about the room. He looked around. There were five of them. Them walls. Four black and a grey one. The room was pentagonal in shape. The ceiling was painted white. There were no light bulbs or candles. Nor were there windows or doors. But the room was still well lit.

His eyes moved from wall to wall. Again, and again, and again. Wait a minute, he said to himself. There was something different about the grey wall. He walked up to the wall. He lifted his hand, almost involuntarily. The grey wall was not solid, unlike the black ones. It was like touching a plasma wall, complete with the ripples, but with a small difference. As he pushed gently, his hand disappeared into the grey wall.

A chill ran down his spine. The part of his hand inside the wall felt cold. He groped around, as if in the dark. Nothing. He pushed his hand further inside. There was something inside. He could feel it. But couldn’t tell for sure what it was. This is probably what ‘nothing’ feels like, he thought. His fingers reached the edge of the smooth surface. He ran his fingers down, and tugged gently. The object moved. He smiled a confused smile. “Take it,” said a little voice from the other side. He slowly lifted the object that was beyond the wall and pulled it out in one swift move.

It was a pencil box, the one with a million little compartments. One for the eraser, one for the sharpener, and one for… He remembered it distinctly. It was Firhad’s pencil box. He had shown it off with great pride the first day he got it to school. All the children in the class gathered around him. One of the many pairs of eyes that looked at him and his box with jealousy on that day was his. He went home that evening and asked his dad for one. “Rs. 60! Are you mad?” was his dad’s response. He cried the whole night. He even prayed.

The same box was now in his hands. He opened each compartment. The lids closed with the help of a tiny magnet. He flipped it open and then shut spilling everything inside. He ran around the room and his box was now any aero plane. He ran in circles. He ran and ran and ran. He ran till his legs could take it no more. He ran till he fell. And slipped into blissful sleep.

(to be continued...)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Options – a word hated and dreaded with equal passion by the creative department in any advertising agency. But why? Let us solve the mystery.

Here is a conversation between a client servicing executive and a copywriter. ‘C’ shall represent the copywriter and ‘S’ would stand for the servicing executing.

C: But why the fuck do you need more options? It is six in the evening and my friends are waiting.
S: The client said so.
C: So?
S: See, I forwarded the mail to you as it is. It is not my requirement. It is the client’s call.
C: Do you even know what this poster is supposed to do?
S: The communication strategy as discussed during the client meeting states it all. It is the result of a country-wide market research programme otherwise known as a dipstick. So the margin for error is almost nil.
C: I repeat, do you even know what this poster is supposed to do?
S: As I was saying, the client thinks the feasibility study done by the research firm justifies the need for the communication in order to increase the footfalls…
C: Whatever! Let me put it to you simply. This poster does precisely what it is supposed to do. Making a series out of it doesn’t make sense. It would dilute the communication.
S: I completely understand and I personally love the poster. But what can I do when the client is adamant?
C: Open your MBA mouth and talk.
S: See dude, you do not understand the business side of things. Do you realize how important this client is to us? This retainer pays most of our salaries.
C: Can you please cut the bullshit and come to the point?
S: (After a pause) The point is, I have no fucking clue as to what this job is all about. My boss had to go shopping and this was shoved down my throat. And I am sure she doesn’t know the job well either. Even otherwise, my job basically involves forwarding client mails to you and vice versa. I have been asked to create panic and make mountains out of molehills. I think advertising is a cool job and hence I am around. I also have a low self esteem and hence am immune to the abuses from your end and from the client’s end. I delay briefs purposely in order to stay back after 9 for free dinner and a cab ride back home. Over. Now what’s your story?
C: More options mean more work. Period.

I could go on and on. But you kinda get it, don’t you?

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Cynicism - the good side - in fact the only side

Cynicism seems to be the order of the day, or rather the best among a multitude of ‘isms’ around begging to be followed. Unless you like cruel surprises of course. Ones like - Water is at times thicker than blood. Cheating is not confined to ‘Desperate Housewives’. Death is not for the body alone. The proverbial friend in need is just proverbial. Cigarettes cause hypertension on the long run. Even healthy food kills. Reality shows are scripted. NGOs exist only in concept. Size does matter. Man created God and not the other way around. Well, I am not claiming that Cynicism makes one immune from it all. It just helps to remain prepared.

Monday, August 10, 2009

License to kill?

I think it is way too easy to get hold of a driver’s license in India. I think the criteria should be more stringent. I guess it is the only way to keep a check on (as eradicating would be impossible) the madness on the roads. Here is a suggestion.

There should be a psychological test as part of the regular written (can crack them with both the eyes and the mind shut) and the drawing-patterns-on-the-ground tests. This test should be contrived in such a way that the following questions would be answered about a person’s character and ability after the results are processed.

a)Does the person have the ability to spot, identify and decipher a one-way signboard? Will he be able to understand that the vehicle coming head on in the opposite direction is not the latest model of a car with headlights at the back?

b)Are there chances that the man/woman is a prospective spree killer, a fan of Charles Starkweather knowingly or unknowingly? As in, whether he/she is likely to mow down people with his Tata Sumo at the same ease with which one cuts through soft idlis?

c)Will he dim his headlights hence not blinding drivers within one kilometer radius? Does he/she realize that lampposts emit light and not vision-impairing gases?

d)Will he come to terms with the concept that cabs have numbers on them not because they are on a run after a jailbreak and hence are not criminal by manufacture?

e)Will he/she be able to realize the fact that the guy on the road in camouflage trousers is a college kid who went shopping the day before and not an infiltrating enemy soldier, and hence refrain from running him over?

f)Does he have enough understanding of the Geography to understand that all roads in India are in fact in India? And on all roads, however American their names might sound, one has to keep to the left while driving?


Happy driving!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Alcohol - the ultimate solvent

Mrs. Geeta Ramachandran, my chemistry teacher, taught me that alcohol is one of the best existing solvents. For people like me who did not pay much attention in school, it is a liquid substance capable of dissolving other substances. Due to its acidic or basic (could be either like water) properties, it reacts with almost everything resulting in the dissolution of the item in contact. The element that comes in contact is most tangible, with the exception of gases. This, I thought, was the ultimate truth until I discovered the wonderful properties of ethanol - the most commonly used form of alcohol and not surprisingly, an industrial solvent.

Well, here is one thing they don’t teach in chemistry classes. Reactions you don’t find amidst racks of chemicals and test tubes in well-equipped laboratories. Apart from all things tangible and intangible, there is one more thing that dissolves in alcohol and disappears without a trace. It is called sorrow. And this is one dissolution that produces a pleasant reaction. Not because of the production of nitrous oxide a.k.a. laughing gas. Not simply because it eradicates sorrow. But because you know there is a way around. Even if it’s an eventual killer. Even if just for a while. There is a way around.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


To dreams I wake up screaming while to nightmares I smile,
lions graze in my backyard and lambs roar in the wild.
Beginnings await my arrival while destinations I leave behind,
honey burns in my veins while poison feels surprisingly kind.

Their songs my eyes see while my ears listen to them paint,
the murderer I embrace, but mercilessly scythe down the saint.
The moon lights my noon while the sun warms my night,
darkness opens my vision but I am blinded by the light.

For captivity I fight while from freedom I flee,
wounds give me pleasure but with pampering I bleed.
With pens my words vanish while erasers ink them to life,
I pray to lord for war while peace I put to knife.

I slice through the maze while I get lost on the streets,
am I just confused or am I just confused?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Advertising. WTF?

Unlike in the metros, advertising still works in mysterious ways for my folks and the likes back in Kerala. My dad hates it when I introduce myself as a copywriter to his friends. He prefers ‘advertising executive’. Like that sounds any better. But can’t blame him completely, can I? I remember telling one of my friends, a science graduate, about me being a copywriter. “That must involve a lot of reading. Considering the amount of law books you have to mug up.” said he, almost breaking into tears. A small ‘copyrighting’ versus ‘copywriting’ crisis.

The hilarious case of Smiju T K, a fellow art director, is even funnier. He was at an aunt’s place, an old lady, to bid farewell before boarding the bus to Bangalore. As the answer to a query about the nature of his job, poor Smiju avoided the term art director conveniently. He was well aware of the layers of explanation and an in-depth seminar on advertising he would have had to conduct to explain the term. Instead, he translated advertising into its Malayalam counterpart. The lady held his hand. Her eye wrestled back a tear drop. “Be careful while painting those hoardings. Those ladders can be real tricky you know.” To everyone else who wanted to know his profession since then, he was a carpenter. By the virtue of lesser risk involved I suppose.


Beep, beep! My friend sitting across the table at the bar picks up his phone. It’s an SMS. His eyes bulge and are on the verge of falling down from their sockets as his eyes take in line after line. Without a word, he passes the phone to me. It read, “Brother’s engagement over. Wedding on the 16th. Luv sis.” Before you WTF(use as a verb) the aforesaid, you have to realize that the brother mentioned in the text message, is his brother. Not a co-brother, but his own in every sense of the word. Born of the same mother, and arguably the same father. The sender of the message, 'sis', is his own sister. Under the same conditions as the brother. Have marriages become a thing of trivial importance? Or is it the relationships? I do not know.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

It's raining stones...

It was well past the closing hours at the Shivas bar. A few friends of mine and I were still drinking when I felt a tug on my sleeve. It was the new trainee guy from work who had accompanied me to the bar. He lived at a PG and had a deadline of 10.30 to catch before the owner unleashed his little menaces – a Rottweiler and a German Shepherd. Reasonable, I thought. And hence, I ignored him. The little bugger started getting more worried as the hour hand approached 11. I asked him to stay over at a friend’s place in order to avoid the dogs. And the little prick said ‘no’. Apparently, he did not mind being shred to pieces by those giant dogs; they were of foreign origin after all. His problem was the local Indian street dogs. Brand consciousness with dog bites?!?! What is this world coming to? And yeah, thank god I am in advertising.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Found it!

I might be a computer graduate but technology is the last thing you want to discuss with me. I used to like creating computer viruses and all that when at school. A little bit of hacking and cracking was also highly amusing. But that’s about it. It is basically due to my laziness. Things in the world of technology have been moving so fast that my fat ass just hasn’t bothered to catch up and keep myself updated; and hence, the fast developing generation gap.

For instance, I keep getting these search engine recommendations from friends of all kinds – techies and non-techies as per Bangalore definition. They go on saying stuff like, “this search engine is better when searching for images” or “this one gets you the best music dude” or “this one gets you the best porn from the planet. The best mallu aunties”, and so on. I do not understand.

The choice between a Yahoo, Altavista, Ask Jeeves and a Google during the time of a dial up network connection was easy. The criterion was ‘speed’. But with the intervention of optic fibers and technologies a.k.a. acronyms I can’t remember, speed is no more a factor, at least for a regular user. So much so that, I guess people Google (the verb – astonishing) for the result when 2 is multiplied by 3 than use a calculator. I use my search engine to search the internet. As long as I get accurate results (no more a USP, but a given), I am happy. Whether it searches from within India, China or Burkina Faso, I do not care. And unless a new search engine, all those Bings and Bingles, makes enough progress to put Katrina Kaif on my bed when I search for her, or courier me a season ticket for Manchester United matches when my search string reads ‘MUFC’, I don’t give a fuck!

In an ideal world...

Autorickshaw drivers demanding extra fare is common knowledge these days and an inevitable part of every rick passenger’s life. But refusing to transport you because you can’t provide him a passenger at the point where you are dropped off – RIDICULOUS! It would be an ideal world then, wouldn’t it be? You reach your destination where a passenger awaits the coming of the maker, in this case, the rick guy. Not only should there be a passenger, he/she would also be the one who is ready to part with a few bucks over the meter reading. And yes, he should also choose a destination where another of his kind awaits. Or a place that is close to the rick guy’s residence, which would invariably be on the other side of the map from where you have to get off.

But then again, were it to be an ideal world, I wouldn’t need a rickshaw in the first place. Would I? I would not be working, hence eliminating my need to go to work. I would be in an inherited castle somewhere in the Swiss Alps – with enough amenities and aides around me to ensure that I do not have to step outside the stone walls till I die. And did I mention a lifelong Sky subscription? Or maybe in a less ideal scenario, I’d be working. But I would have wings and I would fly to office everyday.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Unplanned trips?

There are no such things as unplanned trips. Yeah. The same spontaneous ones you set off on, well past midnight. The ones that ensure that you apparently had tons of fun while your boring friends stayed home or went to PVR over the weekend. The ones that let you post snaps of yours with panoramic backdrops on Orkut and Facebook. In actuality however, they are just journeys you have been planning for weeks together. They are the same ones you have been apprehensive about since you saw your friend’s album on Picasa. They are the ones you have been postponing since you read that article on Outlook Traveller. They are the ones you have tucked way in a dark corner of your mind called desire. Now that you are three drinks down and much of those earlier inhibitions have melted away like the ice in your glass, you are ready to finally put it into action. And you dare to call it an unplanned trip?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The facebook conspiracy - the unsaid, the unheard and the unseen!

After Jesus Christ’s illicit affair, Kennedy’s assassination and CIA’s Gmail, the controversy theorists have found a new target - Facebook. The theory says that Facebook is a device used by the CIA to create a huge database of the users from across the globe. On second thoughts, it is quite possible.

Imagine the malice and hazards you can be subjected to with the kind of information you have handed over through Facebook. This data, compiled and processed, will be passed on to the American army.

Armed with the knowledge of your favourite colour, band and holiday spots, the American soldiers will have an edge over you during the next world war. They will hit you with colour pellets of all the colours but your favourite colour. You sink into depression. At this point, an American soldier will rush to you and tell you how he knows all about your girlfriend who broke up with you a couple of weeks back. He will also tell you about a few downloaded pictures of hers (from her FB album), morphed and otherwise, that he has pinned up in his tent - for a certain purpose. You are in tears. He will also tell you how she will move to Paris in ten days. Thanks to the ‘Where would you be living after 10 days’ application. He will go on and inform you that her ‘Perfect Celebrity Match’ is Garfield - to further demotivate you. And the fact that you do not even remotely resemble the fat cat won’t help the cause. By this time, you are completely heartbroken and are busy with the ‘What weapon would give you the most painless death’ application.

If the theorists are to be believed, the Americans have been using this process successfully and repeatedly to wipe off enemy soldiers, entire battalions at a time. Slowly, but effectively.

Since we have established that Facebook is one of CIA’s cyber weapons of mass destruction, I suggest you don’t open any of those mails with “For ultimate pleasure” as the subject line. For all you know, the attachment could contain the AIDS virus. Biological warfare of course!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Where fools dare...

He could almost feel the teeth sink into his flesh as he tore through the woods. The chase seemed endless. And the wolf, tireless. She had been on his trail for almost an hour now. She had picked up the scent of his blood at the brook, the man-eater.


The Onbitwish Woods had been his playground for over a decade now; just like it was for the young men and women around him. The older ones often told them stories of the lurking dangers at the heart of the woods. Some of them told tales of their own experiences with the perils; the ones who survived; the ones with scarred bodies and hearts. The others were never spoken about. But as was the case with most young ears, the wisdom largely went unheard. While some novices shriveled away, the more daring explored. But it was probably the effect of the barrage, no one dared go down too deep. Beyond return. Beyond redemption. But on that unfortunate evening, the gates opened for him, to the land of no return.


The woods seemed to be all around now, closing in on him; smothering him. He closed his eyes for one moment, trying to recall those countless times he had come to pick up berries, pluck herbs, and collect pebbles. How he jogged along directionless and yet ended up at the clearing near the hills, where the shepherds played cricket. His mind was blank. The track that used to emerge from behind the trees stayed hidden. He had come too far.


Nobody in the village liked the Robinsons. He loved them. They always spoke fondly of the woods. They were the proud and unscathed survivors. He spent most of the time sitting around their verandah, listening to their story about the woods. It was unlike anything the others would say. They spoke of flowers, of fruits and shining dewdrops. Of deer, of chirping birds and sun rays that wriggled through the leaves. They never spoke of the dark heart of the woods. They never spoke of hidden dangers. They spoke about trees that talked and leaves that tickled. Of streams that sang and creepers that danced. They never mentioned the land of no return.


The rustling of the leaves was louder now. She was close. And then, he saw it. Two sparkling eyes, red as blood, were staring at him through the thick bushes. Beads of sweat populated his forehead as the creature emerged from the thicket. He stood frozen as it dashed towards him, his eyes closed in a prayer he was trying hard to remember. The words of the elders and the Robinsons echoed in his head. The elders were louder.


His mother never let him visit the Robinsons. Nor did his father. They had never been to the woods themselves. Still they had a happy life. So why should their only son do anything different? Perfectly reasonable. But the Robinsons had gone to the woods too. And they were happier. Every time he posed the question, he was sent to his room.


Seconds ticked. Nothing happened. No weight on his body, crushing him to the ground. No canines ripping his throat apart. He opened his eyes, nervously. The wolf was gone. A small pit had opened up in front of him, the kind hunters dug for wild boars. The creature had fallen into the trap. Gathering the little bit of courage that was left, he slowly approached the pit. The wolf was in it, curled up in a corner. It was writhing in agony. It had broken a limb during the fall, he reckoned. He turned back and walked, looking back every now and then, thanking his stars. He reached the clearing by dusk.


The night was restless. He couldn’t sleep. Images of the wolf in pain returned to haunt him. What if the poor thing was hunting for its starving cubs? What would become of the cubs if the wolf died in the pit? What if? A million questions troubled him at first and then slowly lulled him to sleep.

His father’s cuckoo clock woke him up in the morning. He had his breakfast quick and fast. He picked up a piece of rope and chunk of meat from the storeroom. Kissing his mom good bye, he rushed towards the clearing and into the jungle. This time, the only voice in his head was of the Robinsons.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

The new sun

The day the last sun painfully set
The brave candle parted with its fighting flame
The pale moon shone betrayed and bereft
The nightingale forgot his song in shame

The stream never laughed her teasing giggle
And the rainbow shed its every colour
The pool of tears looked a treacherous puddle
Even cupid seemed to have lost his power

Silver linings burnt as lightning ceaselessly struck
The only tunnel closed shut its cast iron door
Even open graves resembled strokes of luck
Love seemed to live only in dusty pages of folklore

And then just like that she came along
Giving me a new sun and the nightingale his song

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The recession song!

Swipe your card at nine in the morn,
Rush to the monitor and do switch it on,
Even work on a file that is already complete
But don’t make it seem you are idle at your seat
Cut down your smoke breaks to five, maybe six
Double the number of your brownie point ticks
When a friend comes to chat do shoo him away
For he won’t pay you on the salary day
Gtalk was good when there was no firing
But now close the window, coz no one’s even hiring
Don’t let the pink slips land on your table
Pretend you’re good, the best and the able
Stick by the rules and you may beat recession
Or else there’s no go, but to join the procession

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A suicide that went wrong.

“Aaaaargh!!! You just punctured my eye you rotten little drunk,” screamed Cyclops, the old dartboard at the pub. “I guess they will only realise my pain when I bleed. Agnostic infidels. I think I might as well just hang myself to death. Oh, I already am hanging. Somebody tighten the noose for god’s sake!” Silence. Snap. “Oops, the wrong head. Sorry nail.”

Unfortunately, everyone's turn will come...

It was the last I would see of him. Like the others before him who had fallen prey to cruel fate, he could do nothing about it. Neither could I. All I could do was pray. Pray for the bloodshed to stop. Saving the lives of the rest of us. If only for the time being.

Giant minutes passed. Walls echoed our heavy breathing. With fear and loathing in my eyes, I turned towards my tormentor. There was God! The prayers were heard! My unfortunate friend would be the last of us to die the bloody death. There would be no more blood.

A cold winter breeze swept across the room. I lay back and let it make love to me. Death had made me a little more adventurous. A little giggle escaped my clutches. Peace was restored. And then… he sneezed. It was my turn. A prayer escaped me as he pulled me out of the box – “Please, my lord. Never a tissue paper again.”

The girl who stared on and on...

I looked again, through the corner of my hopeful eye. No. I wasn’t mistaken. She was indeed staring at me.

Wow. I might not be the ravishing hunk around, but yeah, I wasn’t the ugliest one around either. I remember, once there was this girl called Lily who said that I was cute. And then there was Riya; well, she did not exactly say anything. Then who was it? Whatever. Forget it. But this was different. She was too damn hot to pay me this kind of attention; or any kind of attention for that matter. She didn't even blink.

I looked over my shoulder, just to make sure. No. There was no one else in her line of sight. I jumped in my chair, without actually getting the elevation. I sighed, and flung a cheeky glance in her direction. She was still at it. I turned my monitor around a little bit and typed furiously.

While alphabets, not words, populated my MS Word page, my mind was craving to wander beyond the screen and around it. “Will she still be looking at me,” I wondered. As if in answer, a large plastic ball whizzed past my ear and bounced back off my soft board. Oh yes, a large chunk of the future of Indian cricket worked in my office. Apologies with the conviction of a politician’s promise followed. With a wry smile I threw the ball back.

Without even a glance in her direction, my nervous fingers attacked the keyboard. “Why didn’t you look at her you idiot,” cursed my heart. I felt stupid. The diehard romantic in me woke up. There was no way I was going to let this opportunity pass me by. I threw my hands up in the air, and leaned back, as if to stretch. She was gone! Aaaaaaaaaarrrgghh! My head dropped on the keyboard with a thud. A few random alphabets scattered across the monitor. For all I knew, if rearranged, they might have read ‘ASSHOLE’.

With tremendous effort, I slowly raised my head, turned in her direction. Whoa! There she was. My joy was beyond compare. She was lying, face down, on my table. It must have been that wretched ball. “Hooligans,” I thought. I slowly picked her up and put her straight with one hand. With the other, I pushed the drawing pin right through her hair. My pinup girl wasn’t going down again.

Monday, March 16, 2009

8 lines about her...

The might of the pen she wrongly uses,

to paint a picture, an image that induces,

a portrait of her that brims with lies,

one that laughs more often than it cries.

Tales of hearts those were ruthlessly broken,

And stories of betrayed men were carelessly spoken;

only the one blessed to hear more than the said,

could hear the muffled cries as she constantly bled.